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Published July 2015 | metadata_only
Journal Article

Carbohydrate-based materials for targeted delivery of drugs and genes to the liver


The insult to liver by toxic materials leads to cirrhosis, hepatitis and cancer. Upon administration, drugs accumulate in liver, which is systemically cleared by reticuloendothelial system. However, specific targeting of drugs to liver is a serious challenge. Specific delivery of molecules to hepatocytes is accomplished by targeting cell surface lectins, asialoglycoprotein receptors. Asialofetuin, N-acetyl glucosamine and galactose are high-affinity ligands of asialoglycoprotein receptors. The bioconjugation of drugs, fluorescent molecules and gene delivery vectors with lectin-targeting agents, and their delivery in liver hepatocytes, is discussed. Mannose and N-acetyl glucosamine conjugates are evaluated for their delivery to hepatic stellate and kupffer cells. The glycosylated gene and drug delivery vectors in clinical trials are outlined.

Additional Information

© 2015 Future Medicine Ltd. The authors would like to thank National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for the funding of this work. The authors have no other relevant affiliations or financial involvement with any organization or entity with a financial interest in or financial conflict with the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript apart from those disclosed. No writing assistance was utilized in the production of this manuscript.

Additional details

August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023